Expelled as Lok Sabha MP, Mahua Moitra seeks return and redemption

This is the time for trial by fire for Trinamool's firebrand MP Mahua Moitra. The MP from Krishnanagar in West Bengal lost her membership in the cash-for-query case. Moitra is seeking to return to the House from Krishnanagar in a Lok Sabha election that would be a sort of vindication for her with the voters as the judge.
Expelled as Lok Sabha MP, Mahua Moitra seeks return and redemption
Jaano Junction

The pallu of a bright mono-coloured saree covering her head, a pair of broad sunglasses shading her eyes, a garland around her neck and a beaming smile on her lips, Mahua Moitra moves like a breeze through the streets of Krishnanagar. Waving and greeting people, and occasionally holding a hand extended towards her, the Trinamool Congress leader is renewing her bond with the people of the constituency that sent her to the Lok Sabha in 2019.

Moitra, the MP from Krishnanagar in West Bengal, was expelled from the Lok Sabha in December 2023 after an ethics committee recommended action against her for her involvement in a cash-for-query case.

Trinamool supremo Mamata Banerjee reposed faith in her and Moitra is back amongst the very same people in Krishnanagar who sent her to the Lok Sabha..

An expelled MP, Mahua Moitra, is fighting for return and redemption.

"Mahua was thrown out of the Lok Sabha for speaking out aloud against the BJP. The CBI raided her place without caring for her elderly parents," Mamata Banerjee said at an election rally in Krishnanagar on March 31, sharing the stage with Moitra.

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Expelled as Lok Sabha MP, Mahua Moitra seeks return and redemption

"The BJP is hell-bent on defeating Mahua from Krishnanagar. But it is your duty to ensure that Mahua returns to the Lok Sabha," said Mamata, raising Mahua Moitra's hand as if she had emerged victorious in a boxing ring.

Krishnanagar, which has been a Trinamool fortress, votes in Phase 4 of the Lok Sabha election on May 13. Moitra defeated the BJP's Kalyan Chaubey by a margin of 63,000 votes in 2019. She bagged 45% of the valid votes cast in the constituency that covers West Bangal's Nadia district.

This year, the BJP has fielded Amrita Roy, the queen mother of the former royal family of Krishnanagar.

Amrita Roy is from the family of Raja Krishna Chandra Dev, who sided with Mir Jafar and East India Company's Robert Clive to end the rule of Siraj-ud-Daulah. His role was key to the Battle of Plassey in 1757.

Roy, who doesn't have political experience, joined the BJP in March this year. Pitted against the firebrand Trinamool leader, it has been reported that Prime Minister Narendra Modi assured her of all the help in her battle against Moitra.

In March, PM Modi dialled Amrita Roy and expressed confidence that Bengal would vote for change this time.

In that call, Roy mentioned how Raja Krishna Chandra Dev had helped save 'Sanatan' dharma.

Both Modi and Roy said the fight was against corruption.

Incidentally, there was a case of a corruption -- cash-for-query -- case in which Mahua Moitra was expelled from Parliament.

In the 1999 Lok Sabha polls, the BJPs' Satyabrata Mookherjee won the Krishnanagar seat by dislodging CPI(M)'s incumbent MP by a small margin. Since then, the BJP has never won it again.

PM Modi, on a call with BJP candidate Amrita Roy, said the BJP was being seen as a ray of hope in Bengal and people in large numbers were backing the BJP.

Roy is banking on the anti-corruption plank and Brand Modi, but Krishnanagar is tough terrain for the BJP.

The parliamentary seat of Krishnanagar has seven Assembly constituencies. The Trinamool won all seven in the 2021 Assembly election.

The Trinamool is banking mostly on three Muslim-dominated Assembly segments -- Kaliganj, Nakashipara and Chapra.

The four other seats, Tehatta, Palashipara, Krishnanagar Uttar and Krishnanagar Dakshin are where the BJP is trying to give a tough challenge to the Trinamool.

Moitra is banking on Trinamool schemes like Lakshmir Bhandar, which gives monthly allowances to women. The West Bengal government recently doubled the money for general category women under Lakshmir Bhandar to Rs 1,000 a month.

She is also confident of the development work in Krishnanagar.

It is connecting with people, and not campaign speeches, which is at the centre of Mahua Moitra's election campaign.

She rides an open-top vehicle and covers her constituency meeting and greeting voters.

At times, she engages in small talk or hears out requests from the people. At times, she picks up a child and kisses her. Then there are the selfies.

It seems Moitra is having fun on the campaign trail. She says she is confident of a victory by a huge margin. Reacting to the nomination of Rajmata Amrita Roy, Mahua said, "I don't know who this 'Rani Ma' is, because the BJP candidate in Krishnanagar is named Amrita Roy. As far as I know, the Constitution defines India as a democratic country. The only 'Raja' Bengalis know of is Raja Ram Mohan Roy, and the only 'Rani' we know of is Rani Rashmoni."

The BJP is trying to put up as best a fight as possible in Krishnanagar. On Wednesday (May 1), Bengal BJP heavyweight Suvendu Adhikari held a rally to seek votes for Amrita Roy.

On the call with PM Modi in March, Amrita Roy said, "People say that Mahua Moitra will have to go to jail." PM Modi laughed out. It remains to be seen who has the last laugh in West Bengal's Krishnanagar and if Mahua Moitra finds her return route and redemption from there.

Source: India Today

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